Oppn wants Turkish vote annulled : The Tribune India

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Oppn wants Turkish vote annulled

ANKARA/ISTANBUL:Turkey’s main opposition party demanded on Monday that a referendum granting President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers be nullified after a narrow ‘Yes’ vote that exposed bitter divisions and drew concern from European Union leaders.

Oppn wants Turkish vote annulled

Supporters of ‘No’ gather protest after the results of a nationwide referendum were declared in Istanbul. Reuters



Ankara/Istanbul, April 17

Turkey’s main opposition party demanded on Monday that a referendum granting President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers be nullified after a narrow ‘Yes’ vote that exposed bitter divisions and drew concern from European Union leaders.

Erdogan’s supporters took to the streets to cheer, while opponents stayed indoors banging pots and pans in protest over the vote to bring the biggest overhaul in Turkish politics since the founding of the modern republic, abolishing the prime minister’s post and concentrating power in the presidency.

Unofficial results showed a narrow victory with 51.4 percent of votes cast in favour. Official results are due in 12 days.

Erdogan, a populist with a background in once-banned Islamist parties, has ruled since 2003 with no real rival, while his country emerged as one of the fastest-growing industrial powers in both Europe and the Middle East.

He has also been at the centre of global affairs, commanding NATO’s second-biggest military on the border of Middle East war zones, taking in millions of Syrian refugees and controlling their further flow into Europe.

Critics accuse him of steering Turkey towards one-man rule and exacerbating divisions that could increase instability. The two largest opposition parties both challenged Sunday’s referendum, saying it was deeply flawed. The pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party said it presented complaints about unstamped ballots affecting 3 million voters, more than twice the margin of Erdogan’s victory. The main secularist opposition People’s Republican Party said it was still unclear how many votes were affected.

“This is why the only decision that will end debate about the legitimacy (of the vote) and ease the people’s legal concerns is the annulment of this election,” deputy party chairman Bulent Tezcan said, adding if necessary he would go to Turkey’s constitutional court. — Reuters

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